Memorandum dated 21 Aug 2019
I have a few thoughts on the recent political events in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China and my experiences in communicating with friends, classmates, family members and strangers on social media for the record.
I do not want to dwell on the details of specific events and historical background, but I would like to record just a few metaphysical thoughts on what I have seen on the news and experienced in the field.
I wish I could ask myself from a different perspective before any discussion begins, even if it throws my mind into confusion. In doing so, I could get to the following point in the discussion:
In the discussion, I try not to impose my ideas on the other, but to listen to the other’s voice and respect it. I should also restrain myself and be polite if I don’t think the other is capable of rational communication.
States and citizens, or individuals and groups, have been a topic of discussion since the dawn of human society. In how to safeguard the collective interests and protect the rights of individuals in ways and means, there is never the best, only better. Even if everyone knows this, many people will go to extremes because of their experiences.
Some journalistic principles put the collective voice and personality matter more than the identities of individual journalists, but in fact, the unit of thinking is always a living individual. I can not do not consider whether, as an individual, I have space to express my ideas, and the right to have them respected.
As a citizen who grew up with strong patriotic education, I agree that it is necessary to safeguard the collective interest, but this understanding is not imposed by textbooks and education systems that conform to the discourse of power holders. The workings of society are no less complex than the workings of the cells, tissues, organs and systems of the human body. Even if it is not for profit, people will gather as a community for enjoyment.
You’re not happy when someone else labels you because you know that such a label is just one-sided attribution of one of your characteristics to a label that also contains other properties that do not fit you. Everyone knows this, but when they encounter disagreement, they are often happy to label each other. Such behaviour interrupts the possibility of communication. But it’s not all bad. Maybe it’s a circuit breaker for more hatred.
‘Every isms and every theory should be studied, but they can only be viewed as a hypothesis, not dogmatic credo; they can only be viewed as a source of reference, not as rules of religion; they can only be viewed as inspiring tools, not as absolute truth that halts any further critical thinkings. Only in this way can people cultivate creative intelligence, become able to solve specific problems, and emancipate from the superstition of abstract words.’
Based on a variety of studies and my experience, I don’t think there is an absolute correlation between age and cognitive ability outside of early childhood and physical decline. However, the lack of life experience and practical experience impacts young people’s understanding of how to deal with social upheavals in a short period. Thus we can see the importance of historical perspective in understanding social changes and avoiding extremism caused by the lack of one’s own experience.
The journalist should report the truth of events as they are, and press freedom should supervise the administration empowered by the people. Using the press as a tool to monitor the government is consistent with the universal values that have prevailed since the publication of the Il Principal, but some believe that administrators should use the press to help guide public opinion and maintain social order. Please look at this from the historical perspective mentioned in the previous. In the short term, controlling the public’s sources of information to manipulate collective memory can ease the burden on the helmsman in a big wave. But in the long run, Leviathan will destroy the ship.
Someone criticises every press for being political, but they ignore the need for them to be credible in a free market. Even the independent news media, which bills itself as unfunded by a consortium, still have a position and a bias in its coverage. The government and many tech companies say they will crack down on fake news, but rather than rely on machine learning or manual screening, let yourself be the sceptical and improve critical thinking.
With the increasing convenience and rapidity of information transmission and interaction, the discussion of political topics has become so easy that the discipline of political science has often forgotten. Stereotypes about other countries for a variety of reasons, and a perception of the historical picture of the fragment, everyone seems to research comparative politics. I will try to avoid this mistake by studying various empirical methods and theories, and I will always try to understand the society and the world through interdisciplinary thinking.
In conclusion, I will try to keep my comments on political events to a minimum and replace it with rational and comprehensive analysis.